Archive | Book Reviews

Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution – And How It Can Renew America by Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman is well-known for his book, The World is Flat. His 2008 work, Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution – And How it Can Renew America, is insightful and provocative. If the global economy and U.S. election were not the two biggest topics in the media, I am certain that Friedman’s latest book would receive more coverage in the press.

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Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge

Cass R. Sunstein is a professor at the University of Chicago Law School and a prolific writer.  In Infotopia, he portrays the various options for gathering information.  Prediction markets, wikis, blogs and open source software are among the choices that he reviews.  Deliberation is a process of decision making that most of us are familiar with, particularly if we’ve served on a jury. 

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Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns

Clayton Christensen, the author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, and Michael Horn and Curtis Johnson team up on this recently published book.  In Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns, Christensen and his co-authors apply sound theory, research, and practicality to a subject that no one wants to tackle: reforming K-12 education in America.

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Dialogue Regarding The Long Tail

Michael Rabjohns sent me a note informing me of an article in the July Harvard Business Review written by Anita Elberse.  Elberse is an associate professor of business administration in the marketing department at Harvard Business School.  Her article leads off with a portrayal of Grand Central Publishing, a company that lists 275-300 books each year in its catalog and identifies two (my emphasis) for which it will pull out all the stops in marketing. 

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Remaking the American University: Market-Smart and Mission-Centered

Bob Zemsky, co-author of Remaking the American University: Market-Smart and Mission-Centered led a session for Presidents and Trustees of colleges and universities at the 2007 Higher Learning Commission annual meeting in Chicago.  At the time, he was a member and participant on the Spellings Commission and he provided the audience with an update on the Commission’s findings from his perspective. 

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Powers of the Mind

I have to admit that I was curious how Powers of the Mind would play out based on the title.  I had read a brief review of the book in reference to general education courses, so I acquired it for that purpose.  The author, Donald N. Levine, is the former Dean of the University of Chicago. 

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The Last Lecture

At the Chronicle’s Executive Leadership Forum, Jeffrey Zaslow spoke about Randy Pausch the Carnegie Mellon professor who was the subject of a Wall Street Journal column last fall.  Zaslow, a Carnegie Mellon alum and reporter for the WSJ, heard about Pausch’s lecture and received permission from his editor to cover it.  At the last minute, he decided to video some of the lecture and post it on the Journal’s website before the article was published. 

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The Big Switch

Nicholas Carr is known to many for his book,
Does IT Matter His new book, The Big Switch, is just as provocative and one that I recommend for stimulating your thinking about many of our businesses today.  Carr provides the reader with a background on the electric industry and its evolution from private company and municipality driven systems to standardized and large public utilities empowering the widespread usage of electrical appliances. 

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Charlene Li’s Groundswell

I read this book during a round-trip flight to the West Coast which is usually when I catch up on my sleep. I also sent emails to friends and colleagues recommending the book and took the initiative to subscribe to the Groundswell blog. I’ve even asked the gurus who maintain my website to add the same RSS or email subscription option. The book was great and I hope I learn a few things by subscribing to the blog as well.
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